You’re Capable of More Than You Know (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 73)
“Hope and change are hard-fought things.”
— Michelle Obama
There are many excuses we can make for not doing things we know we can do, and often should do. And many times, we fall for our own excuses. Excuses, however, only get in the way of us challenging ourselves. We are our own best coaches. Nobody knows us like we know ourselves. Excuses only keep us back from realizing that we are always more capable of greater things than we think we are.
Challenging yourself can be any activity or project that you normally would not do. For example, you can get up early even though you went to bed late. Commit to strengthening your brain by engaging in a mind activity for one full month. Run an extra mile more than you normally do. Choose to be delivered from temptation at least once — don’t give in to the red velvet cake or yummy nachos. Write something even though you don’t think you’re a writer.
A challenge I have set for myself is to read 100 books in a year. That amounts to about 1 book every 3 or 4 days. I’m not quite on track but I’ll get there. And if I fail, I try it all over again for the next 365 days. When you challenge yourself each day in small, unassuming ways, you inevitably push your limits and extend how much you can handle and do every time you do it. If you do it long enough, challenging yourself eventually becomes a habit that works for every aspect of life. Oftentimes, it’s not the big projects that tempt us to quit, but the little goals that we don’t reach and the little tasks that we don’t do.
Every little goal you reach, every little project you complete, every little challenge you fight through, every little defeat you recover from all have the potential to yield amazing results. But you’ll never see the results if you’re always reacting to things instead of being proactive. Take some time to analyze what you regularly do. Open up space in your mind and in your day to do something that will cause you to go deeper, to think bigger, and to push your limits.
You’ll never know what you’re capable of doing until you challenge yourself to do it. Setbacks and hardships are unavoidable, but they are not excuses. Challenging yourself is a way to keep yourself young mentally, physically, and emotionally. It is also a way to experience new opportunities. Challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they are impetus for you to rise above what you think you can’t do and actually do it.
“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”
— T.S. Eliot